Chinese Wine Makers Promote Local Wines

October 11, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. conducive (adj.) 
[kuh n-doo-siv, -dyoo-] – having favorable conditions that result to better growth or development
Example: Mild weather is conducive for growing grapes.

2. winery (n.) [wahy-nuh-ree] – a place where wine is made
ExampleWineries are usually located near the grape fields. 

3. palate (n.) [pal-it] – the sense of taste, especially the ability to enjoy or judge food.
Example: She developed a palate for exotic food after travelling to different places.

4. best (v.) [best] – to beat or defeat someone in a competition
Example He bested the other chefs after cooking his special dish.

5. connoisseur (n.) [kon-uh-sur, -soo r– someone who is knowledgeable about something such as food or drink
Example: Wine connoisseurs spend a lot of money to taste foreign wines.

Read the text below.

A desert-like place in China called Ningxia is being developed by the government to be China’s official wine-producing region within five years.

This area around Helan Mountains is the most conducive place to grow wine grapes.  Ningxia already has several wineries such as Jiabeilan, Domaine Helan Mountain and Silver Heights.

Silver Heights started in 2007 and is run by Emma Gao, one of the few Chinese in Ningxia who earned a wine-making certification from France. According to Gao, most Chinese preferred sweet wine 30 years ago. Now, Chinese consumers are developing a palate for Western food and wine. And with a potential market of 1.3 billion people in China alone, wine-making is becoming a good business.

Gao is proud of Ningxia wines.  In fact, these local wines bested wines from Bordeaux in a blind taste test held in Beijing last December. Most of the world’s finest wines are from Bordeaux, France. Five Chinese and five French connoisseurs tasted different wines and were asked to select the best ones. The top four of their ten choices were Ningxia wines.

Jim Boyce, one of the contest organizers and a blog writer on Chinese wines, says that the results of the test do not mean Ningxia wines are better than the ones from Bordeaux. It means that Chinese wines have the potential to compete with Western wines.

Gao Lin, Emma Gao’s 70 year-old father, financed his daughter’s wine education in France. He told Emma that he would not support her if she took any other course.

Even though it was her father’s strong influence that made her to take up wine-making course, she soon grew fond of wine after tasting different kinds of wines in France and comparing their flavors.

Gao says that Ningxia wines also have a very unique flavor. The climate in Ningxia makes the wine spicy. This taste reminds people of tomatoes, roses and black fruits. 

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What local product would you like to promote internationally? Why did you choose this product?
·         How can local products be promoted abroad?

Discussion B

·         Do people in your country buy more local than imported products? Why do you think this is so?
·         In general, what would you say are the unique qualities of products in your country?


October 11, 2012